THAT'S JUST JACK
BY PHOENIX E
the close friendship between Jack and Daniel.
Hurt/Comfort. J/D Friendship.
References to Stargate the Movie.
critically wounded. Daniel is at his side.
Daniel's thoughts about Jack, as he waits.
|| 32 Kb
Originally completed 2001 for Gateways 4. Posted
to the net in 2004.
got to stop meeting like this, Jack. Although it's usually
the other way around. I'm the one lying in that bed, stitched
up, hooked up and wired for sound. And you're the one
sitting here in this chair. Watching, waiting.
not saying much, but her 'detached and dedicated medical
professional' mask is seated too firmly in place to fool me.
She doesn't have to say it. I can see it in her eyes.
too soon to tell. It can go either way. You - you could
go. Either way.
to do but wait and see.
wait. Damned straight, I'll wait. Wild horses couldn't
tear me out of this seat. Being here for you, even though
you don't know - it's the least I can do, Jack. Not simply
because I'm your friend. Or because you're mine.
Mostly because if it wasn't for you it would be me lying there
where you are now. Or maybe not even still here at all.
if he was able to - what he did for me back there - why he's
here, lying there - like that... he'd just shrug it off.
That's his way. That's Jack. Nothing. It was nothing.
Nothing any self-respecting team leader wouldn't have done
for one of his 'kids'. Kids. That's what he calls us.
I know he means it in an affectionate way, probably doesn't
even think about it half the time when he says it, but it
says a lot about the way he sees us. Feels about us. Takes
care of us.
what you were doing, Jack, what got you here, fighting for
your life and hanging on with every stubborn fibre of your
contentious and uncompromising being. Protecting me. It's
my fault you're here, Jack. I shouldn't have frozen over
the DHD. I don't know what was wrong with me, what happened,
it's not like I've never been under fire before but I just
- I couldn't move and there I was - I was standing there
like a dummy, a perfect target. A lamb to the slaughter.
I would have just stood there and let myself get shot - killed
happen. "Cause all of sudden Jack was there, jumping up
behind me, getting in the line of fire. Pulling me down to
until you'd gotten us both down and covered I realized you'd
him. They shot Jack. It should have been me - would have
- would have been. But he saved me. Saved...
not sure how Sam and Teal'c got us back. What happened after
I saw your still face, so white, and yet strangely calm,
felt your blood soaking into me as it slicked my hands…it's
just all a bit of a blur. The only thing I can really remember,
the only images my mind will not release in favour of new
ones. Your face. Your blood.
there was so much blood.
matter. Doesn't matter how we got back. We did.
We did. We're back, we're here. Jack's still
here. Alive, you're still alive. No blood now, just sterile
whiteness, stark, antiseptic smells and the electronic sounds
signifying your relentless tenacity. Each beep, each breath,
each second measured by an electronic sentinel.
gotta stop thinking like this. A person could make themselves
nuts thinking like this. I don't wanna go nuts.
Fine way to say thanks to Jack when he wakes up if he should see
the idiot he went through all this for - acting like one.
wake up, Jack. You will. God knows after everything
you've already been through you're not going like this.
Not now. Not when you want so very much to live.
there was a time when you would have welcomed this. A time
that's thankfully long passed. You just about took an entire
planet and all the souls on it with you in your determination
to put an end the spark of uniqueness we've come to know
as Jack O'Neill. I stood there and watched you push the
button on over five thousand souls, your own men among them.
All of them consigned to death, having only seven minutes
to live. Everyone on Abydos was going to die but me.
were sending back through the gate. Back to Earth, back
to life. You were going to die, everyone who had helped
us, befriended us was going to die, but not me. Daniel was
going to live. You were taking care of me - even back then.
Taking care. Such good - good care…
neither one of us has really ever faced the terrible meaning
of that moment. Such utter, implacable, resolute determination,
unmindful of the cost. The darkest moment in an already
too dark life and yet… Something in you still reached
out. To me.
the only ones who know about that moment. The only ones
who shared it. It changed both of us somehow, bound us together
in a way no one else can really understand. You had to be
there. Trite, but still true.
learned something that day, Jack. Something we'll both
never forget. Copping out, checking out, that's not hard.
The easiest thing in the world. Living - going on and
dealing with what you are, what you've done, what you've seen
- that' what's hard. That's what takes every ounce of
courage and determination you possess. And ultimately,
what shows you what you're really made of.
I've never told you, Jack, but I understand a lot better
than you know. I've wanted to give up too. No really. I
know what you all think - I'm the 'takes a licking but keeps
on ticking' kid. Has been known to do it occasionally,
but 'never sez die', Daniel.
that's me. The original rubber band man. Always bouncing
to know the truth, Jack? I put up a good front, but that's
not the way I always feel. There have been times when I've
wanted to just lie down and never get up again. I've come
pretty close to... let's just say it's been close. A couple
Jack will say something like 'don't worry, it'll be fine'.
And somehow it always is. Because Jack says so.
Jack. The sanest man I know.
nothing else around me has made sense, somehow Jack - you
have. Sometimes you're the only thing that does. You're
always - there. So real, so unique, so - so Jack. You're
the rock I always cling to in the raging storms of my life,
the safe harbour I fight to reach with every ounce of strength
I possess. Even though at times we've drifted - you've never
been far away. And no matter what you think, you've never
let me down.
Safe. Both four letter words. Interchangeable in my
dictionary. You don't know how many times you've given me
strength with a touch of your hand, quelled the rising terror
of the moment just by being there. 'Daniel, with me.'
Three words which say to me, more than any others, you'll
be there, taking care. Watching out for me. As long as
I'm at your side, no matter what, I'm safe.
to wake up, now, you hear me? You've dragged me kicking
and screaming through the most amazing year of my life. We've
butted heads constantly, fought like cats and dogs but you've
brought me safe through all of it. You promised me we'd
find her - find them - no way I'm letting you out of the
deal now. The job's not done, Jack, I can't do it without
you. Can't go out there without you kicking my ass, yelling
at me, making my life hell. No one can give me grief like
Jack. The most frustrating man I know.
be the most stubborn, unreasonable, condescending, maddening…
There have been times, I swear, when I've wanted to scream.
I do actually get a little carried away at times I realise,
trying to make a simple point. Our 'differences of opinion'
are becoming the stuff of legend at the SGC. Jack might
not always listen, but I've never doubted he hears me. He
hears. And sometimes he knocks me right on my ass with
just how much he has heard. And knows.
Jack. Far more than he seems to be. Way more
than he gives himself credit for. Oh, Jack, you're so down
on yourself sometimes. You have this strange idea you were
a little short-changed in the brains department and frequently
seem bent and determined to be the living embodiment of 'thick
as a brick' just to prove the point, but the real truth is
you doesn't miss a thing. All of us owe our lives to your
instinct, your skill and your dedication to us. Sam and
I might be 'smart', but Jack keeps our over-rated heads on
our shoulders and gets us all home again. Jack knows plenty,
and I for one am profoundly grateful for his version of 'smart'
when the shit is hitting the fan and it's looking very much
as if the rest of my life can be measured in seconds.
ticking slowly by, marked by beep, after beep, after beep…
lying there, beside me, so pale, so still. Jack, my bane,
my protector my antagonist, my - my friend..
Daniel, calm down, let's not panic. I won't be scared, I
won't, it's going to be fine, you're always telling me it's
going to be fine Jack, I need to hear you telling me it's
going to be fine, you're going to be fine, I need to hear
your voice, Jack. You hear me, Colonel? Don't piss me off.
I mean it! You low-down, contentious, stubborn, contrary
bastard, you check out now when I catch up with you, you'll
wish you were dead. Don't think I won't find you either!
No way you're having the last word!
Please, God - no...
you got anything better to do?"
How are you feeling?"
- been better, thanks. You?"
doing just fine, now."
look like shit."
look great." Never looked better, far as I'm concerned.
Jack's alive, squinting up at me, tightly clutching my hand
as amusement dances in his eyes. I don't know what you're
seeing in my face right now, Jack, but I don't really care.
I'll deny everything later, say it was a dream, the drugs,
whatever works but right now I don't mind you seeing, don't
mind you knowing how glad I am - how wonderful it is to see
are so full of it," Jack snorts weakly. Then he looks
deeper, the amusement in his eyes softens, turns to concern.
"Scared you, huh?" he sighs so quietly I almost miss
it. "Close one, was it?"
yeah." I can't say any more. Can't look at him
either. Especially as I know - if it wasn't for me…
his voice gently reaches out to me as he squeezes my hand.
"Don't. We both made it. That's all that
matters. It'll be fine."
hardly believe what I'm hearing. He's barely crawled away
from death's door and here he is, trying to make me feel
Jack. The kindest man I know.
O'Neill!" Janet's relieved and happy voice sounds
behind me. "Good to have you back, sir,"
flashes her a faint shadow of his usual insouciant grin as
she moves to the side of the bed. She puts a gentle but
firm hand on my shoulder. I'm about to get the boot.
sorry, Doctor Jackson, now that he's awake I'd like a little
quality time alone with my favourite patient."
ya Doc liked me best," Jack pulls a face at me.
because you outrank her," I smile back at him as I
reluctantly extricate my hand from Jack's surprisingly iron grip
and allow Janet to move me aside. I'm not quite ready to
leave him, but this is Janet's turf and even Jack hasn't
the guts to talk back to her. She's short, but she's mean.
She's also put both of us back together again more times
than all the king's men reassembled Humpty Dumpty, so usually,
we try to be good.
Danny, as long as you're going, you wanna pick me up a pizza
of us try a little harder than others.
O'Neill," Janet scolds with fond firmness. She spares
me a parting look. "Get some rest, Daniel," she
tells me kindly. "We'll look after the colonel."
you will, Janet. Just like I know, from the look on your
face, he's going to be all right. I can rest now. But I'll
Jack chimes in sleepily. "Get some sleep. You
look like shit. And don't come back without the pizza."
are tired but smiling, saying so much more than his words.
He'll pout about the pizza, but he'll forgive me. He'll
bitch and moan and complain, call me names, and then bitch
some more, every truculent, childish syllable music to my
ears, but he'll forgive me. That's the way he is. That's
how I know how much he cares.
just Jack. The best friend a man could have.